Many consider Orlando and Tampa to be sister cities – and we certainly agree. It’s fairly easy to get to other places that make for a romantic weekend getaway or a quick trip. Next time you head east on I-4 check out these new restaurants in Orlando. These special restaurants and bars have unique atmospheres and creative menus that are worth the drive.
New Restaurants in Orlando
You know you’ve reached Orlando when you arrive in the attractions area. Just around the corner from Walt Disney World is a new wellness hotel, ette hotel. This exquisite hotel brings a level of sophistication to this part of town that is needed. Couples will love the sumptuous setting, and its signature restaurant, Salt and the Cellar by Akira Back is incredible. Many dishes have artistic tableside presentations, which makes this feel like an experience rather than an ordinary meal.
The focus here is on wellness so there is no alcohol served at the hotel or the restaurant. However, if guests desire, they may bring along their own wine, beer, or spirits at no additional charge.
For a whimsical taste of home, head over to Four Flamingos: A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen, now open at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. The restaurant, which replaces Hemingway’s, features an open kitchen, raw bar, and live lobster tank, all with a fun vintage Florida feel. The menu highlights the tropical flavors of Florida, with an emphasis on citrus, surf and turf, and fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Four Flamingos is one of our favorite new restaurants in Orlando. And with it being inside the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress it is a perfect excuse to have a romantic weekend getaway here.
London House, which opened in 2020 as a members-only social and lifestyle club, has now opened their experimental fine dining restaurant, Immersion, to the general public. For the ultimate date night experience, try the 15-course immersive chef’s table experience. The meal begins at 7pm sharp and takes diners on a three-hour sensory experience. Read our review at Orlando Date Night Guide. A craft cocktail lounge and an a la carte dining experience are both now open as well.
Bacán, the signature restaurant at the brand-new Lake Nona Wave Hotel, recently opened for date night. Enjoy vibrant dishes influenced by the flavors of the Americas in this upscale dining concept, complete with an “open theater” kitchen. Lake Nona is a cool destination in itself and we think Bacán is the best new restaurant in Lake Nona.
One of the coolest themed restaurants in the Orlando area, Susuru Orlando, is now expanding to a new home on East Colonial – which is near downtown Orlando. Susuru Juju opens on, or around, August 3. Offering a perfect balance of casual Japanese eats and sophisticated dishes, it’s a great date night destination no matter your budget.
Susuru Juju will also have a Kappo Bar Tasting Experience which is more casual than a traditional Omakase experience. Book a night with one of the many Orlando hotels with summer deals then head out to Susuru Juju for dinner, make it a romantic adventure.
New Bars in Orlando
The BANDBOX – Orlando is now open in Ivanhoe Village. Even a visit to Orlando’s Ivanhoe Village itself is worth the drive from Tampa, and then having this unique space makes it even better. It is the city’s first spirit-free speakeasy, with non-alcoholic craft cocktails, aperitifs, shrubs, CBD sodas, and more, all served in a chic cocktail lounge. Reservations are required for the tasting lounge, but walk-ins are welcome to tour the space and browse the onsite vintage shop.
The Neighbors recently opened on the second floor of East End Market, and it’s already a hit! The eclectic creative space features an experimental kitchen, a cocktail lounge, live music, shopping, and more. We love that the menu is equal parts cocktails and mocktails. And The Neighbors has one of our favorite Orlando Happy Hours.
A stunning new bar called The Bellhop is now open in downtown Orlando. It is easy to step inside as it is on the bottom floor of the historic Angebilt Hotel. The bar is designed by former Walt Disney World Imagineers and has a glamorous vintage hotel lobby feel. A gleaming wood bar, glass and feathered chandeliers, leather chairs and plush lounge seating, and a display of brass hotel keys all drive the hotel theme home. The space functions as a moody coffee bar by day, and an elevated cocktail lounge by night.
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